A new interactive map – you can zoom to street level around Britain – shows the statistics about reported road victims between 2000 and 2010.
The portion of the map showing our Whitchurch area is in the screenshot to the right. It should be noted that not all injuries are reported, so the total number of injuries may be as much as 4 times higher.
LOCAL ROAD VICTIMS
Sunday is World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims – a day established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2005; and promoted by the World Health Organisation. It leads into Road Safety Week in the UK.
The map of the Whitchurch area shows no deaths between 2000 and 2010 (there were two recently though); and approximately these numbers of injuries:
- 64 victims in cars (over half, or 36 were along A34)
- 7 victims as pedestrians (2 along A34)
- 1 victim on a bicycle (slight injury)
The section of the B3400 road between Wells-In-The-Field and The Gables in Whitchurch saw 2 people injuried in cars, 1 seriously. There is a local campaign to introduce a footpath along that stretch of road.
BEWARE OF ANIMALS TOO
The map shows only human victims – but even animals can be victims on the road: In 2009, there were 159 ponies killed in the New Forest for example.
Following the horrific crash on the M5 recently, the BBC reported that there were 118 motorway fatalities in 2010 across the UK. The Department of Transport issued these statistics on road casualties in 2010 by user type:
|Motorised:||1,316 killed||(about 4 every day);||162,951 injured||(14,595 seriously)|
|Pedestrians:||405 killed||(about 1 every day);||25,440 injured||(5,200 seriously)|
|Cyclists:||111 killed||(about 1 every 3 days);||17,074 injured||(2,660 seriously)|
The DoT also stated that in terms of children (0 to 15 years old) in 2010, there were 26 killed as pedestrians, 18 in a car, and 7 on a bicycle.
One kind of action undertaken by other countries to reduce road victims is to introduce ‘Strict Liability’ in crashes. Whitchurch’s very own Lord Denning said this of strict liability in 1982:
There should be liability without proof of fault. To require an injured person to prove fault results in the gravest injustice to many innocent persons who have not the wherewithal to prove it.
However, the UK Government appears to be against the concept, as our MP, Sir George Young said in April this year that strict liability could “lead to unfair results in cases where the motorist is driving entirely responsibly and the accident is caused by the irresponsible or negligent behaviour of a cyclist or pedestrian.”
Sir George concluded: “I do not consider that there is merit in a change from the current standards in favour of stricter liability. To justify any such change, it would be important to have strong evidence of a benefit.”
The interactive map of UK road casualties can be found at the ITO World Ltd. website HERE. It was highlighted in the Guardian HERE. A couple of the charities which offer support to road victims are Brake and RoadPeace. It was in 1997 that Brake set up Road Safety Week. A summary of the EU road safety resolution is HERE; More details are HERE. News about the recent road fatalities nearby is HERE and HERE.
A video that describes strict liability is HERE. Animal accident prevention in the New Forest is highlighted in a video HERE. A video about adopting 20mph limit in British towns is HERE. An advert from several years ago demonstrates the impact of travelling 5mph over a 30 limit – see HERE.